The Fountain of Venus and Adonis
Allusions to hunting in a tragic love
12 basins, just like the 12 months of the year, lead to the Fountain of Venus and Adonis. The balustrades of the tanks allude to hunting: they are decorated with boar, wolf, ram and bear heads. Designed by Gaetano Salomone, the main sculptural group of the Fountain of Venus and Adonis was completed around 1780. Surrounded by nymphs, putti and dogs, Venus holds a young Adonis, begging him not to go into the woods. On the left, a wild boar turns threateningly towards the observer., Mars, in the role of the animal, will later kill Adonis out of jealousy as narrated in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.